Oh, the Places You Will Go! (Literally)

Imageby Amber McNair, ABQLA McGill Student Chapter President

Beginning a career in this fascinating and constantly changing field is both exciting and daunting. The job search, while at times exhilarating, is emotionally taxing. Having the option and desire to be mobile, I applied for public library positions in many communities across Canada and I was very fortunate to be offered the position of Youth Services Librarian at Huntsville Public Library. Re-locating to Huntsville, Ontario, a town of 18,280, has been quite a change from Calgary where I grew up, studied, and taught, and from Montreal where I completed the MLIS program at McGill.

Huntsville is a beautiful town, located three hours north of Toronto in Ontario’s cottage country, with a vibrant arts community. The numerous lakes, forests and proximity to Algonquin Provincial Park make it a wonderful place to live and visit. Though I miss Montreal and living in NDG, I am enjoying the new experiences. Instead of adoring aspects of my neighbourhood such as Fruits Rocky Montana, D.A.D.’s Bagels and Shaika Café, I now have a forest behind my deck, rabbits, a garter snake and occasional access to the neighbour’s lakefront property!

Starting as a Youth Services Librarian the week before summer programs began certainly involved diving in head first, appropriate for this year’s TD Summer Reading Club theme of SPLASH! Celebrate Summer. The past two months have been a huge learning curve for me and I am grateful to all of the library staff who have been supportive in introducing me to the intricacies of the Huntsville Public Library and answering my numerous questions.

ImageThere have been many highlights during this very busy summer. I have particularly enjoyed running Family Storytime @ River Mill Park, held in the shade beside a playground near the Town Dock. I have also enjoyed meeting many library members and the numerous visitors to Huntsville who use the library. As the staff contact for the summer children’s performances that are funded and organized by The Friends of Huntsville Public Library I have had the chance to meet and chat with The Friends volunteers on a number of occasions, which has proven to be an opportunity to really learn about the town and the District of Muskoka.

Planning for fall programs is in full swing and I am very excited to have the opportunity to start up a Teen Advisory Group as well as aid with a computer literacy program for seniors that will pair a Teen Techno Wizard with a senior for one-on-one training.

I would like to send best wishes to all my fellow School of Information Studies graduates and ABQLA members in all of their endeavours. If you are considering a road trip in the near future, I would certainly love to show you around Huntsville and Muskoka!

Amber McNair
President, ABQLA McGill Student Chapter